Help Save Mongo’s Life

Hello Sprinter Life Readers,

We need your help.

A lot of you have been asking what we plan to do with Mongo when we leave Huanchaco. We wish we could take Mongo with us, but we can’t. I could go into all the details on why we can’t adopt him and how sad we are about it, but instead I’m going to focus on where Mongo IS going, and about his exciting new life ahead.  

We found him an AMAZING home in San Diego. Meet Mongo’s new mommy & daddy, Malia and Matt…

So here is the situation. We move to Lima in a few days, and we need to get Mongo on a plane to San Diego. He has to fly cargo, which is ridiculously expensive. His ticket will cost $700.

We’ve already spent a lot of money on getting Mongo healthy, neutered, and able to travel. Now we’re prepared to pay another $700 to fly him to San Diego. Why? Because the alternative is that Mongo would die if left on the streets of Huanchaco.

We could never turn him back to the streets. When we found Mongo he was sick and hungry. He narrowly escaped death by poisoning while in our care (read here). This is an ongoing threat. Just a couple of weeks ago the Municipalid of Huanchcaco killed a bunch of street dogs. They did this by poisoning them, and then went back and bashed in the heads of the ones that were still hanging on….you know, to be ‘humane’ about it. This caused a protest and sunset vigil in front of the Municipalid building, but nobody was held responsible.

If Mongo stays here, he’s dead. We’re prepared to pay the cost of passage (along with Matt and Malia) to give Mongo a shot at a great life. Can you help us?

We’re asking for help in any amount. We know Sprinter Life has a big readership, and if everyone gave a little, we could easily pay for the ticket.  In the past, you have been incredibly generous, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. So, please help us make a difference for this one dog in Latin America. Donating is easy. All you need is your credit card. Just click here….

We’ve already floated this to a few people. I want to address one comment I received from an acquaintance in a facebook chat…

“Man, you’re spending all that money on a street dog. That’s just stupid. ..”

It’s never been our intention to monetize Sprinter Life. We don’t solicit donations for our lifestyle. Nor do we try and sell you stuff with advertisments. Sprinter Life is free for everyone to enjoy, and it always will be. We will, however, occasionally start a school for poor kids, or try to save the life of a street dog. When we do, we may ask for a small donation. We hope that:

a) You respect our effort to do good in the world, even if you don’t personally relate to the cause.

b) You know that our skin is always in the game as well.

c) That you get enough enjoyment out of reading Sprinter Life posts that you’d consider pitching in for something when the call to action comes. If not, that’s cool, but please don’t call us stupid. Mongo and I are very sensitive.

If you met Mongo you would realize that he is one of the coolest little animals on the planet. He is full of spunk, curiosity and love…AND, all of this from a soul who was dealt a tough hand in life. He’s been beat, kicked, shooed away, yelled at, hacked with a machete, and even poisoned by the hand of man.  Yet he’ll still run up to you, tail wagging, and lick your face when he doesn’t even know you. That’s just “Pure.” And “Pure” is hard to find in this world. Recognize

We’re going to miss you Mongo. Thank you for all the laughs and the love. You’re a good soul.
Suerte mi amigo.

XOXOX  -TREE, Stevie, & Kiki


MORE: The History Of Mongo, by Stevie.

Mongo was a full grown pup who was living on the streets of Huanchaco when we arrived.  Quite fittingly, we met him in a bar, one of our first nights in town.  Even though he was young, the wear-and-tear of street life was already taking its toll. He was under weight, blind in one eye, and sick with what we’d later discover was ehrlichiosis.  Needless to say, I was less than enthused when this raggedy-ass pit-mix  showed an interest in my princess Kiki.  I physically tried to block their contact as much as possible. Much to my dismay, when we left the bar an hour later, however, Mongo followed.  I tried to shoo him away, but he had his eyes set on the new black furry bitch in town, and he wasn’t going to let me get in his way.  Once outside, he quickly put on the charm and began to win Kiki’s attention, which is a hard thing to do if you happen to be a dog.  I figured, what the hell, I’ll let him walk us home.  Then, a few blocks down, a gigantic German Shepard rounded the corner and started to bully Kiki (by ‘bully’, I mean aggressively sniff her butt, something Kiki finds horribly offensive).  I was about to get in the middle of it before Kiki snapped (her one and only fight move) and got her ass kicked when little Mongo puffed out his chest, jumped in between Kiki and the butt sniffer and managed to keep him at bay until we were safely down the street.  Needless to say, I’ve been in love with Mongo ever since.

That night, I invited Mongo in for a bowl of food to repay him for his valiant services and started teaching him not to pee in the house. About an hour later, tired of hearing me yell NO every time he lifted his leg, he cried at the door and I let him back out.

Even though Mongo fell in love with Kiki at first sight, it took Tree and I months to win Mongo’s trust.  He really liked us, but he didn’t think of our house, or any house for that matter, as ‘home.’  But then I took him to the vet to get him checked out and discovered that he had ehrlichiosis and an eye infection, which meant that I was going to have to give him medicine morning and night for six whole weeks.  So, every night, I went out to the bars to search for my noble hooligan and bring him home. I’d give him food, his meds, and lots of cuddles, and then repeat the process in the morning before letting him out again.  After nearly two months of this routine, he started to come back on his own, at least for a few hours during the day.  Once he finished his medicine, however, we occasionally let him spend the night out at the bars, knowing that he’d be on the doorstep when we woke up.

Then, one day, Tree and I came home from a morning of running errands in Trujillo and found Mongo nearly dead on our front porch.  Someone had poisoned him. Thank the f’n dog gods by that time he knew to come home.  He was soaked in his own saliva, unable to stand, shaking violently, choking on the fluid filling his lungs, and shitting himself.  It took three trips to the vet and a week of round-the-clock care, but we managed to save his life.

Fortunately, Mongo doesn’t have any permanent physical damage from that horrible episode, at least not as far as we can tell. The only notable change in his behavior, actually, is that now, he always comes home. I don’t want to anthropomorphize him too much, but it really seems to me that Mongo knows on some level that we saved his life, and he is grateful to be a part of the pack. I feel like for the first time in his life, he doesn’t feel like he has to fend for himself, alone on the streets. He knows he has humans that love him and trusts that we will help.

Most recently, we had him neutered, and shockingly, that didn’t actually change his behavior much either. In fact, it barely changed the size of his balls. Tree and I suspect that maybe, just maybe, the vet only took out one testicle. It’s hard saying, but this is Peru. It sure feels like there’s still a ball in there (I had to take out the stitches myself, that is why I was handling Mongo’s balls you perverts). If we weren’t in Peru, I would never even question such a thing, but here, I can just hear the vet saying, “You mean you wanted me to remove BOTH of them?”

Clearly, we have both fallen in love with Mongo, and giving him up isn’t easy. We really feel like we’ll be the ones missing out without him in our daily lives, but we have to think about more than just us as we make this decision. With a baby on the way, and our nomadic lifestyle that entails many long days driving in a crowded van or holed up in hotel rooms working on the internet, we’re not the best humans for Mongo. We were perfect for him in Huanchaco, but on the road, we would suck. He needs young, athletic, loving people who like to go on runs, hikes, and bike rides, and to dog parks, the dog beach, and local bars (he really loves bars). And he’s going to get all of that in San Diego with Matt and Malia. My only consolation is knowing that the three of them are going to make such a great family…and, of course, that we’ll get to visit Mongo when we visit California!

Here are a few posts of the adventures of Mongo…

Mongo gets poisoned Part 1

Mongo gets poisoned Part 2

Mongo survives street life

Getting Mongo healthy

Mongo joins Sprinter Life pack, for now

Hanging with Mongo

Mongo getting one of his first check-ups…

Turns out that everyone in Huanchcao was wrong.  Mongo was not born blind in one eye. He just had an eye infection. Stevie applying eye drops to heal the eye infection.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Donation sent!

  2. mamatuyas says:

    I love that dog. I love his spirit. And yours.
    Yes “Pure” is hared to find in this world. And you are THAT.
    Count me in for $50.00
    Love you all. Pura Vida.

  3. Great post guys. We are SO thrilled you found a home for Mongo and really wish we could contribute to his flight, having anxiously followed his story all along. However, we had some bad news at home this week and found Maddy isn’t just slowing down due to old age but has a tumor growing on her heart causing fluids to leak into her chest cavity and make her breathing more difficult (which is due to old age, in reality) so we had some vet bills along with the slap in the face with the reality of realizing our old girl was really heading into her final months.
    Best of luck getting Mongo to San Diego and for the drive to Lima for your new temporary home!!!
    Jim & Rhonda

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Heather says:

    I hope our small but spirited donation helps get Mongo home. Keep up the good work.

  6. I am happy to give to the cause! I know it’s “one street dog”, but it means a lot. Anthony and I saved a street dog in India, his back leg had been run over, gangrene, so many things. It was incredibly traumatic for both us and the dog (since street dogs are hated in the country), but it was worth it. I am so glad to see Mongo has people who will love him forever. Poor guy has had it so rough, as many street dogs do. Happy to help out.

  7. Teri Hogan says:

    Saludos Stevie y Tree, tuve la sensación de que sería encontrar un hogar para Mongo, 2 perros y un bebé en la Sprinter, demasiado. Me encanta Mongo y yo ni siquiera lo conozco! Yay para Malia y Matt para la adopción de él. Cuenten conmigo un poco de ayuda! Los buenos viajes!
    Sorry if my Spanish is jacked up, I’m still learing.
    Love from Puerto Vallarta!

  8. jason, angela, & bode says:

    Suerte, Mongo

  9. We are in like Flynn… Once I remember my damn paypal password.

    Thanks for modeling what compassion is.


  10. Dottie Miller says:

    So very happy Mongo has found the love from you and now new parents to carry on….a heartwrenching story.

  11. Luis Reyes says:

    Hey guys, helping Mongo is a way of paying back for all the good stuff that you write. I will be flying to Lima and will be there from 8/2 to 8/7. I am flying from NYC, if you are avail I would love to meet you guys. Luis

    • Hey Luis,
      We’d love to connect in Lima. We’ll send you an email.
      cheers, and thank you for the donation.

  12. You’re a good dog, Mongo!

  13. I donated because Mongo told me to. Mongo can come play with the dog we are trying to rescue from Baja. They will speak the same language. Tell Mongos new keepers that we can dog sit anytime.


    • Dear Uncle Sisco,
      thank you so much for the donation. I can’t wait to meet you. You are great. I hear you might splash me in the line up. I will like that very much. I will meet you in December ok.
      Love MONGO

  14. Atom Crawford says:

    Donated what I could. Mongo is lucky to have found such wonderful and caring folks. You guys rock!

  15. Erin Day says:

    Oh my God Stevie you look so beautiful…

  16. Alexander Roberts says:

    Doctors think they know what causes that now !

  17. James Hart says:

    Mongo the wonder dog!

    Seriously wtf is with the poisoning of dogs in latin america. It has to cost more for them to perpetually go around poisoning and bashing the heads in of these poor animals and cleaning up the mess than it would cost to have the lot of them spayed/neutered and prevent the problem in the first place. The idea of training some locals on the process and setting up free clinics has been rolling around our heads for a while, something needs to be done.

  18. Mick Evans says:

    Clever Stevie, spreading peanut butter on your tummy – almost had us fooled *grins* (our dog Vinny is a fool for Michele’s evening hand lotion….)

  19. Chris Bg says:

    woooo!!!!…..linda foto!!!!!

  20. Ursula Martìnez says:

    oh my god!! stevie que linda fotooooooooo!!!

  21. Courtney Mcelwee says:

    Best of luck lil Mongo!!!

  22. Rob Wilson says:

    Enjoy the ride and new life, Mango – you earned it!

  23. Ken Cardwell says:

    Hope this small amount helps out. Good luck!!!

  24. Cindy Chischilly says:

    Donated. Thank you for caring so much for Mongo. Malina and Matt, you guys are amazing. THank you all for being such a great inspiration for all humans.

  25. You guys kill me –
    Mongo is actually a good looking guy in his own ‘street’ sort of way, (look out San Diego).
    Check’s in the mail (pay pal)
    Remember that DOG is GOD spelled wrong.

  26. Matt and Malia says:

    What an amazing community to be a part of! We all appreciate your help in bringing Mongo to us! If any of you are ever in San Diego, reach out and come meet Mongo! Much love to you all! We are so grateful for this opportunity!

  27. Stephanie says:

    Hi I wish I could donate more…I still have to my mortgage for this month ughhh…I hope Mango will be adopted please update us thanks Stephanie

  28. You guys hit my charitable nerve this morning. I am here in Calgary readying a guided trip to the Bugaboos and I was just thinking that I never would have been here with tree. You guys are doing great things. My love goes with you both and with mongo on his adventure.

    • Ahhh, the bugs! You’re killing me Dragon. Love you, miss you, thanks so much for the donation. Mongo is on his way to the States!

  29. Anonymous says:

    So, is he gone? Did we make it?

  30. Hey Everyone.
    We just wanted to give you all a BIG thank you. We reached our goal and have enough money to buy Mongo’s ticket. We say a bit more about it in the next post, but wanted to say it here as well. THANK YOU!!! You guys rock.

    Sprinter Life

  31. I hope my small donation helps Mongo is one of a kind and the adventures are so cool.
    How can ya not side with a badass!!

  32. I wish I saw this post earlier!!! Glad you raised the funds for Mongo’s flight. You both have shown such love and heart for Mongo and in his heart he’ll always be grateful for it. He will run to you with kisses and joy when he sees you all again on your next trip back to San Diego.

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